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Stop meddling with London, bankers' leader tells Sarkozy

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Angela Knight, the chief executive of the British Bankers' Association, launched a scathing attack on Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday, accusing the French President of "undermining" the European Union. Her comments come as EU finance ministers moved unexpectedly quickly to agree a new range of measures for regulating financial institutions. Responding to Mr Sarkozy, who on Monday said that the appointment of the Frenchman Michel Barnier as the EU's new internal markets commissioner would rein in the "free-wheeling Anglo-Saxon model" of banking, Ms Knight said: "President Sarkozy must surely recognise that he has undermined the EU with his statements and put a question mark over the impartiality of his nominated commissioner that will not be easily dispelled."

 

Speaking at a gathering of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers, a City guild, Ms Knight stressed London's importance as a financial centre, arguing that the entire EU benefited from London's position. "If anyone in the European project thinks for a minute that they are capable of subverting the years of effort it took us to make the UK the world's financial centre, they are sadly mistaken. At stake here are at least half a million jobs and the tax revenues which will contribute more than anything else to replenishing the Exchequer after this recession," she said. "It also needs to be more widely recognised that the City brings benefits to all of the EU, not just the UK. The EU is the centre of much of the world's commerce, and it is important that it remains so."

 

Mr Sarkozy caused outrage in the City and in Westminster on Tuesday when he said that a European banking model had "nothing to do with the excesses of financial capitalism". Mr Barnier later tried to defuse the row in an interview with French radio: "I know the importance of the City. I know the importance of this major financial centre for growth in Britain and for all of Europe's economy," he said. "I have to work in Europe's interest to draw lessons from the crisis, including in the City's interest to support this financial centre, as well as others including Frankfurt and Paris."

 

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Stop meddling with London, bankers' leader tells Sarkozy - Business News, Business - The Independent


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Funny how it's undermining the EU when it suits them and undermining the UK otherwise. I know it's a bit much to expect Dear Angela to be coherent, but come ON.

 

PS: Dear Angela, Nicholas has about as much influence on the banking model as I do, so can you please stop throwing hissy fits like these? Or are you just paving the way to blame someone else when it all goes t*ts up for the City as the bonuses get reined in? I wonder... :rolleyes:

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